Ka-Zar by Mark Waid & Andy Kubert—Volume 1

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

Makes Ka-Zar a major player in the Marvel Universe

The story has depth but also rather one-trick-pony

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Ka-Zar (Volume 4)/Tales of the Marvel Universe

Publisher:  Marvel Comics

Writer:  Mark Waid/Todd Dezago/Andy Jozefowicz

Artist:  Andy Kubert/Pino Rinaldi/John Cassaday

# of Issues:  9

Release Date:  2010


Ka-Zar (4) #1

Reprints Tales of the Marvel Universe #1, Ka-Zar (4) #-1, and #1-7 (February 1997-November 1997).  Ka-Zar was born Kevin Plunder but spent years growing up in the Savage Land.  Once he was returned to civilization, Kevin has decided he wants more…whether his wife Shanna wants it or not.  When Ka-Zar and his family are targeted by his brother Parnival the Plunderer, Ka-Zar learns that he’s going to have to return to New York City…and that the Plunderer has off-planet help that might be even too much for him!

Written by Mark Waid (with additional writing from Todd Dezago and Andy Jozefowicz) and illustrated by Andy Kubert (with additional work by Pino Rinaldi and John Cassaday), Ka-Zar by Mark Waid & Andy Kubert—Volume 1 was part of the Marvel relaunch which occurred after the Marvel Universe wide event of Onslaught.  The series was well received by critics and fans.

Onslaught changed the Marvel Universe by “killing off” the Avengers and the Fantastic Four along with other powerhouses in the Marvel Universe (they ended up being in a pocket universe which was restored in Heroes Return).  While the heroes were gone, a void was filled in the Marvel Universe by launch Thunderbolts which was a substitute for the big heroes and Ka-Zar which was a standalone title but featured a major (and surprising) big hitter.

Ka-Zar was always a favorite of mine.  He was a Tarzan rip-off that first appeared in pulp magazines in the ’30s but was rewritten for the Marvel relaunch in the ’60s first appearing in X-Men #10 (March 1965).  He had been the focus of a few series before (a reprint series and two continuing series) but Waid really gave the character more depth.


Ka-Zar (4) #7

I’ve always considered Waid a solid writer, but not a great writer.  He writes comics well, but he isn’t experimental as much like a Morrison, Moore, or Gaiman, but he’s prolific and more traditional in his style.  Ka-Zar is another great example of this…he doesn’t revolutionize the comic industry, but he writes a nice, really traditional comic (and I do give him shock props by having this fists & knives guy face off against Thanos…more so in the next volume which actually has a physical showdown).

The art for the comic is also solid.  Kubert’s father Joe Kubert was known for stuff like Ka-Zar’s inspiration Tarzan and stuff like Tor, and Andy has a lot of his father in him.  He does a great Ka-Zar which is why it really hurts when you have stand-in artists on this series…they just don’t match up stylistically, and it hurts the series.

Ka-Zar by Mark Waid & Andy Kubert—Volume 1 is a fun series, but don’t go into it expecting to be totally engrossed.  The series does move and the ending of the volume does leave you wanting to read where it goes.  If you want to see a nice, solid stand-alone series of a classic character, check out this book (and pick up Volume 2 while you are at it to finish off the story).

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Related Links:

Ka-Zar by Mark Waid & Andy Kubert—Volume 2

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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